1-2-3 Straight Beats Rockies Two Pair

Derek Lowe didn't have his good stuff and was tacked for a pair of runs in the fourth and fifth innings but a Dodger rally overcame and 4-1 deficit and combined with a San Diego loss to St. Louis pulled within one game of the N.L. West lead. Clutch RBI from J.D. Drew and Jeff Kent sparked the rally and Wilson Betemit added a monsterous home run.

Since August 1, Lowe has had eight wins, the most in baseball, and has become the Dodgers' ace, going 9-1 since July 29 with a 2.27 earned run average. With his 16th win, Lowe and Brad Penny have given the Dodgers two 16+ game winners since Orel Hershiser (23) and Tim Leary (17) in 1988.

Trailing 4-1 in the sixth, Drew slugged a two-run triple -- giving him a career-high 95 -- to put L.A. back in the contest and Andre Ethier, Kenny Lofton and Jeff Kent knocked in runs in the crucial, three-run seventh.

Nomar Garciaparra had three hits but Rafael Furcal went hitless, snapping his hitting streak at 11 games. During that stretch hye hit .405 (17-for-42) and ran his season total to 193 hits.

Marlon Anderson and Drew hit triples, running the team total to 57. The Los Angeles record is 67 triples.

The Dodgers moved their record to 15-4 over Colorado, setting a new club record for wins in a single season over the Rockies.

A pair of oddities happened in the first inning: Nomar Garciaparra lined a ball off the 390-foot sign in left-center field and apparently thinking the ball was out had to settle for a single when the ball was quickly retirned to the infield. In the bottom of the inning,

In the bottom of the inning, Jamey Carroll struck out and lost his grip on the bat in the cold (54°) Colorado air, the bat spinning into the Dodger dugout and nearly hitting bench coach Dave Jauss and pitching coach Rick Honeycutt.

The Dodgers got on the board in the third inning when Wilson Betemit drove a gigantic shot into the second deck in deep right-center field, landing high above the Dodger bullpen. It was measured at 456-feet.

Although Beteimt came into the game hitting only ,203, manager Grady Little noted he was hitting .458 against the Rockies this season. His reasoning paid off with the long home run.

Lowe had faced only 11 batters in the first three innings, allowing three hits but two were of the infield type. But in the fourth he ran into trouble.

He gave up a looping single to Garrett Atkins, then a stinging double to left field by Matt Holiday. Todd Helton lined a single to right that was hit so hard, only Atkins could score, tieing the game 1-1.

Garciaparra started a 3-6 double play as Holliday scored from third to put Colorado in the lead. Troy Tulowitzki then banged a single to right before Lowe got catcher JD Clossen on a ground ball that Martin handled.

Meanwhile, Rockies starter Aaron Cook had made only one real mistake over the first four innings and Anderson deposited it into the upper deck.

In the fifth, Martin grounded a single to center and Anderson beat out a high-hopper to second base. Then Betemit hit into a double play and Lowe fanned to leave them both on base.

Colorado scored their third run in the fifth when, with two out, Jeff Salazar singled, move to second on a balk and scoared on Atkin's single. Holliday's single made it 4-1.

Lofton nearly took Atkin's leg off with a shot through the box with one out in the sixth. Garciaparra, almost drilled by a high and tight fastball, bounced a single into left. Kent blasted a shot off the shortstop's glove but he recovered to force the limping Garciaparra at second.

Then Drew lined a long shot off the left field wall that bounced away from Holliday, two runs scored and Drew pulled up at third with a triple, putting the Dodgers were back in the game. Martin's long fly was caught in center field to end the inning.

L.A. pulled to within one at 4-3, but the fortunate bounce on Kent's hard ground ball to second that resulted in a force out instead of leaving the bases loaded, had cost the Dodgers two more runs.

Anderson led off the top of the seventh with a triple off the right field wall. The hit, his second of the game, moved his average over 22 games in Los Angeles to a blistering .407.

Betemit walked and Andre Ethier hit for Lowe. Ethier, once considered a strong candidate for Rookie of the Year honors, slammed a ground ball into right field to tie the score 5-5.

Furcal forced Ethier at second but Lofton grounded to Helton at first and Helton chose to go for the double play but Lofton beat the relay as Betemit scored to put the Dodgers in the lead for the first time.

Garciaparra banged a single to left and Lofton beat the throw to third, knocking Adkins out of the game. Kent lined Manuel Corpas' second pitch into the left field corner for a double, Lofton walking in from third but pinch-runner EY Young was nailed at the plate, crashing into Closser who held the ball for the out.

Jonathan Broxton took over in the last of the seventh and faced the Colorado leadoff man. He retired the side 1-2-3 and in the eighth 4-5-walk-6, with a pair of strikeouts.

Takashi Saito, the oldest rookie in Dodger history (35), took over in the ninth in an attempt to close the game out and facaed pinch-hitter Kazou Matsui in a Far East battle. Saito got him on a fly to center. Jeff Baker took a called third strike but Jamey Carroll looped a single to center.

Saito then fanned Salazar to set a new Dodger rookie save record (22), breaking a tie with Yhency Brazoban.

The Dodgers found out in the clubhouse that the Phillies finally beat Washiinton 8-7 in 14 innings.

Los Angeles sends Brad Penny (16-9, 4.21) to the mound this afternoon for the final game of the series, facing a pitcher that the Dodgers have had trouble with, Byung-Hyun Kim (8-12, 5.29).
  Score by innings                                                       
Los Angeles 001 002 300-6 12 0
Colorado    000 220 000-4 11 0

  Dodgers      ab r h bi ave
Furcal, SS      5 0 0 0 .301
Lofton, CF      4 2 1 1 .297
Garciaparra, 1B 4 0 3 0 .306
 Young, PR      0 0 0 0 .000
 Broxton, P     0 0 0 0 .000
 Saito, P       0 0 0 0 .000
Kent, 2B        4 1 2 1 .286
Drew, RF        4 0 1 2 .280
Martin, C       4 0 1 0 .284
Anderson, LF    4 1 2 0 .300
 Repko, LF      0 0 0 0 .246
Betemit, 3B     3 2 1 1 .263
Lowe, P         2 0 0 0 .094
  Ethier, PH    1 0 1 1 .312
  Loney, 1B     1 0 0 0 .258
    Totals     36 6 12 6
    Rockies    36 4 11 3 

  2B: Kent (26). 3B: Drew (6), Anderson (4). 
HR: Betemit (18). RBI: Betemit (50), Drew 2 
(95), Ethier (55), Lofton (40), Kent (68). LOB: 
Los Angeles 4, Colorado 7. DP: 2 (Garciaparra
and Furcal; Furcal, Kent and Garciaparra).

  Dodgers     in h r-er bb so era
Lowe (16-8)   6.0 10 4-4 1 4 3.63
Broxton       2.0  0 0-0 1 2 2.64
Saito (sv 22) 1.0  1 0-0 0 2 2.12
  Balk: Lowe. T: 2:38. Att: 18,858.
Dodger Blue Notes-- Rafael Furcal went into the game having reached base eight of his last 10 plate appearances and now has 716 plate appearances, third on the Los Angeles charts. He has also scored 111 runs, fifth in L.A. history and is seven hits shy of reaching the 200-hit mark. …Bill LaJoie, special assistgant to the General Manager, is celebrating his 72nd birthday today. …Matt Kemp said he will play winter ball for Estrellas in the Dominican Republic. Kemp said that he would only go for the first half of the season. Delwyn Young said he might go to the Dominican to play in the second half of the winter season. Oscar Robles said that he will play for Navajoa in the Mexican League, as he does every year; he'll play shortstop. Elmer Dessens, who usually plays for his hometown club Hermosillo, said this year's heavy workload out of the bullpen might limit the innings he chooses to pitch in Mexico. Giovanni Carrara and Einar Diaz said they will play in the Venezuelan Winter League.